India recently completed the upgrade of 120 Soviet-origin MiG-27 aircraft, giving the aircraft better navigational technology and a pilot friendly cockpit. The project was initiated in the year 2002 through a tripartite memorandum of understanding between Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) under the aegis of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Nasik and the Indian Air Force.
“The upgraded MiG-27 aircraft is equipped with Inertial Navigation and Global Positioning System (INGPS) providing accurate navigation. Advanced avionics on the aircraft has been interfaced on MIL-STD-1553B Dual Redundant Bus,” a senior DRDO official said.
“To enable weapon aiming, accurate ranging sensors such as Laser Designator Pod (LDP) and Laser Ranger and Marked Target Seeker (LRMTS) are integrated. A digital map generator has been integrated to improve situational awareness. The digital video recording system provides mission analysis and debrief support,” he said.
The avionics system is built around a modular mission computer termed Core Avionics Computer (CAC), developed by DARE. The CAC built on open system principles and houses functional modules using contemporary processors and devices. These functional modules are powering the mission computers on Jaguar and Su-30 MKI aircraft as well.
DARE developed algorithms for navigation and ranging including a weapon delivery algorithm, which was developed along with Software Development Institute of IAF enabling precision weapon delivery.
“The upgraded aircraft has a pilot friendly cockpit with state-of-art multi function display and head up display (HUD). The pilot flies “Head Up” with all the necessary navigation and attack guidance symbology presented on the HUD and superimposed on the outside world-view.